PIRATES co-promoter Danny Ford insisted the club had been “really proud” to say thank you for the incredible work done by NHS workers fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

The SGB Championship outfit recently announced they would be offering free entry to Wimborne Road for NHS staff, when the 2020 British campaign eventually gets off and running.

And Oakdale resident Ford, who is taking a more hands-on role running the club this season, is hoping other promotions up and down the country follow suit.

He told the Daily Echo: “We were having a few discussions about what we wanted to do to honour the NHS staff that are doing incredible work at the minute.

“Every day you hear another story about these workers and the stuff they are going through. They are battling on the front lines and it’s quite remarkable.

“My dad (owner Matt) and I discussed it and we decided to offer all NHS staff free entry for the 2020 season, when it does get under way.

“It means a lot and the response has been absolutely fantastic.

“I really do hope we do get a lot of NHS staff down and we can give them a really good show to thank them in our own way.

“From our side it was meant to be a nice little gesture but the fact that it has been so well received – I can probably imagine other clubs will follow suit. It does make us really proud.

“Hopefully it’s a trend followed by other clubs.”

Pirates had been set to begin their second-tier campaign at home against Somerset on April 1, with league chiefs saying the campaign could now be halted until at least June 15.

But Ford is eager to put on a spectacle for those in attendance when riders can eventually get on track.

He added: “It would also be a fantastic situation if NHS staff could bring along their families – hopefully we can put on a good show and then they will come again.

“We want to introduce new people to the sport and hopefully they can enjoy it.”